Deciduous trees are those that drop their leaves during the winter or in times of drought to conserve energy. This adaptation has allowed these trees to thrive for eons and populate much of the world. Still, even a deciduous tree like a 100-year-old scarlet oak needs care. Here are some tips:
- Plant the right tree in right place
- Water properly
The very first thing to do with a deciduous tree is to pick the right one and to put it in the right place. Lafayette, Indiana is in hardiness zone 5, so you would do best to choose the type of tree that can flourish in this zone. You’ll also need to take into account how large the tree will be when it’s mature, what sort of soil it needs and how much sun it needs.
Mulching protects the tree’s roots from extreme heat and cold, helps the soil hold on to water, and keeps weeds down. It also stops the soil from compacting. Organic mulch such as wood chips and straw decompose and add nutrients. Remove about a 3-to-10-foot diameter of grass from around the tree, and add about 2 to 4 inches of mulch in the cleared space, being careful not to let the mulch touch the crown or the place where the trunk meets the root.
Trees should be watered immediately after they are planted. Some gardeners recommend a 30-second stream of water from a hose at first. A young tree should be deeply watered regularly, especially during its first two summers. Deep watering allows water to reach all of the roots of a tree. After you water, the soil should be damp but not soggy. Soil that’s too wet prevents oxygen from reaching the tree’s roots.
The real difference between a deciduous and an evergreen tree is probably in how it is pruned. You should snip off dead, damaged, or diseased wood at any time of the year. Other types of pruning are more seasonal. Prune deciduous trees when their leaves have fallen and they are dormant, but wait until the worst of winter has passed. You can also prune in the summer after the tree has finished growing for the season. If the tree has been chosen for its beautiful flowers, prune after the flowers wilt if it blooms in the spring. If the tree flowers in the summer, prune it while it’s dormant. In general, trees shouldn’t be pruned in the fall. The weather seems to encourage pathogens, and cuts heal slowly during this time.
Call Lafayette Huesca Tree Services
Whether you live near Loeb Stadium or play golf at the Lafayette Country Club, you want your deciduous trees to stay strong and healthy for all of their lives. Our arborists at Lafayette Huesca Tree Services are here to help. Give us a call today.